Natureland is putting the call out for volunteers to help its next chapter of development with one current employee saying you never know where it may lead.
Dayna Thia became a volunteer keeper when she was just 16 and now, two years later, she is a full-time employee.
“I’ve always loved animals,” she says.
“I really wanted to be a keeper for quite a few years, and I thought that Natureland would be a really good place to learn more about different kinds of animals.”
Dayna grew up on a farm with horses and says Natureland was the perfect place to grow her knowledge of other species.
One thing she’s learnt: “It’s very different liking and loving animals to actually working with them.”
“Loving animals you can look at them and think ‘oh they’re so pretty’, but being a zoo keeper is actually a lot of work. It’s very physically demanding.”
Manager Stephen Standley says plans are in the works for exciting development at the zoo but to do that they need help from their volunteer base.
Zookeeper positions are currently full but positions including; groundskeepers, customer service, fix-it helpers and food preparation for the animals are all available.
Stephen says gardeners and landscapers are at the top of the list and can offer one of the more flexible volunteer roles.
Dayna says, to be a successful volunteer requires stamina, hard work and devotion along with a definite appreciation of animals.
She says there is an excitement from the keepers about the changes happening and she hopes that the community will get behind it.
“Especially with all the conservation work we do, being able to build that up even more and just teaching the public how important conservation work is – it’s really good.”
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